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U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement

Opportunities for U.S. Exporters Under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement entered into force on March 15, 2012.   If you’re an American exporter, here are resources to answer your questions about the U.S.-Korea trade agreement:

  • Check out the FTA Tariff Tool to find out the tariff levels for your products, and other information about market access under the agreement.

The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on June 30, 2007.

U.S.-Korea Trade Facts

U.S. goods and services trade with Korea totaled an estimated $154.8 billion in 2017. Exports were $72.5 billion; imports were $82.3 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Korea was $9.8 billion in 2017.

Korea is currently our 6th largest goods trading partner with $119.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017. Goods exports totaled $48.3 billion; goods imports totaled $71.4 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea was $23.1 billion in 2017.

Trade in services with Korea (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $35.0 billion in 2017. Services exports were $24.2 billion; services imports were $10.9 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Korea was $13.3 billion in 2017.

Exports

Korea was the United States' 7th largest goods export market in 2017.

U.S. goods exports to Korea in 2017 were $48.3 billion, up 14.2% ($6.0 billion) from 2016 and up 40.5% from 2007. U.S. exports to Korea are up 11.2% from 2011 (pre-FTA). U.S. exports to Korea account for 3.1% of overall U.S. exports in 2017.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: machinery ($8.8 billion), electrical machinery ($6.6 billion), mineral fuels ($4.0 billion), aircraft ($3.3 billion), and optical and medical instruments ($3.3 billion).

U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Korea totaled $6.9 billion in 2017, our 5th largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: beef & beef products ($1.2 billion), corn ($705 million), fresh fruit ($490 million), pork & pork products ($475 million), and wheat ($328 million).

U.S. exports of services to Korea were an estimated $24.2 billion in 2017, 11.2% ($2.4 billion) more than 2016, and 93.6% greater than 2007 levels. It was up roughly 45.0% from 2011 (pre-FTA). Leading services exports from the U.S. to Korea were in the travel, intellectual property (industrial processes), and transport sectors.

Imports

Korea was the United States' 6th largest supplier of goods imports in 2017. 

U.S. goods imports from Korea totaled $71.4 billion in 2017, up 2.2% ($1.5 billion) from 2016, and up 50.2% from 2007. U.S. imports from Korea are up 26.1% from 2011 (pre-FTA). U.S. imports from Korea account for 3.1% of overall U.S. imports in 2017. 

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: vehicles ($20 billion), electrical machinery ($15 billion), machinery ($13 billion), mineral fuels ($2.9 billion), and iron and steel products ($2.5 billion). 

U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Korea totaled $548 million in 2017. Leading categories include: processed fruit & vegetables ($94 million), snack foods ($48 million), other fresh fruit ($32 million), fresh vegetables ($18 million), and other dairy products ($15 million). 

U.S. imports of services from Korea were an estimated $10.9 billion in 2017, 0.2% ($20 million) less than 2016, but 22.0% greater than 2007 levels. It was up roughly 11.8% from 2011 (pre-FTA). Leading services imports from Korea to the U.S. were in the transport, travel, and professional and management services sectors.

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea was $23.1 billion in 2017, a 16.2% decrease ($4.5 billion) over 2016. 

The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $13 billion with Korea in 2017, up 31.7% from 2016.

Investment

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea (stock) was $41.6 billion in 2017, a 8.1% increase from 2016.  U.S. direct investment in Korea is led by manufacturing, finance and insurance, and wholesale trade. 

Korea’s FDI in the United States (stock) was $51.8 billion in 2017, up 21.8% from 2016. Korea’s direct investment in the U.S. is led by wholesale trade, manufacturing, and depository institutions.    

Sales of services in Korea by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $14.1 billion in 2015 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Korea-owned firms were $24.1 billion.